PIERRE — House Speaker G. Mark Mickelson said Tuesday he doesn't have any plans to campaign again for elected office. Voters from the Sioux Falls area elected the Republican to the South Dakota Legislature in 2012 and returned him in 2014 and 2016. He is a son of the late Gov. George S. Mickelson, who was killed with seven other men in a state airplane crash, and a grandson of George T. Mickelson, who also had been governor. All three have been speakers presiding over the state House of Representatives.
PIERRE — Thursday marks the 25th anniversary of the one of the worst air crashes in South Dakota's history. Eight men died, including Gov. George S. Mickelson. Mickelson assembled them to fly to Cincinnati where they met with representatives for the parent corporation of the John Morrell meatpacking plant in Sioux Falls. During the return to South Dakota, air traffic control at Chicago received a message from the plane at 3:40 p.m.: "Chicago ahh sierra delta we had ahh a decompression." The controller asked him to "say again."
PIERRE — As a 1976 high school graduate, I was too late to enlist in the U.S. armed forces in time to fight in Vietnam. Friends joined "the service." John went. So did Jane. So did Tim, Jeff, Anita and Don. I thought about signing up but I chose college instead. Memories of them filtered back in recent days as I looked at a new book about the American war in Vietnam.
PIERRE — All three Republican and Democratic candidates plan changes for the Governor's Office of Economic Development when one wins election Nov. 6 as South Dakota's next chief executive. Their words have the attention of Scott Stern. The commissioner brought up the topic Tuesday to state Board of Economic Development members. Stern said the office landed 26 new or expanded businesses from within South Dakota during the past year, compared to 16 from other states. Stern said he would like "a healthy conversation" about what the balance should be.
PIERRE — The state Weed and Pest Control Commission decided Thursday to hold a public hearing on whether absinthe wormwood should be added to the list of banned noxious weeds in South Dakota. Seven species are already on the list: Canada thistle, hoary cress, leafy spurge, perennial sow thistle, purple loosestrife, Russian knapweed and salt cedar. Also known as wormwood sage, it's now in 40 South Dakota counties, Brenda Sievers said. She is plant industry program manager for the state Department of Agriculture.
PIERRE — The South Dakota Transportation Commission approved bids on 11 highway projects Thursday and didn't make a decision on one. Sam Weisgram presented bids from the state Department of Transportation. Weisgram said he's waiting to hear from Presho officials on sidewalk work in Lyman County. Sharpe Enterprises Inc. of Pierre was lowest at $264,849.20. The engineer estimate was $204,040. Six companies bid. The commission approved the others.
PIERRE — A fish food maker should get sales and use tax returned for equipment bought for a new factory at Volga, the state Board of Economic Development decided Tuesday. Board members voted 7-0 to award Prairie AquaTech Manufacturing LLC of Brookings a reinvestment payment up to $748,935. The company plans 35 positions at the Volga plant, according to Aaron Scheibe. He is deputy commissioner for the Governor's Office of Economic Development.
PIERRE — Tony Klein of Pierre and Greg Heineman of Sioux Falls are retiring from the South Dakota Board of Economic Development. Gov. Dennis Daugaard will name their successors during the coming weeks, according to Scott Stern, state commissioner of economic development. Stern made the announcement Tuesday during a board meeting.
PIERRE — In sports, succeeding four times in 43 isn't considered a high achievement. "Congress has passed all its required spending bills on time only four times since the current appropriations process was created in 1974," Dusty Johnson said recently. "Clearly, the process in place doesn't work, and never really has," he said. That's a success rate below 10 percent. Johnson wants Congress to adopt a two-year budget cycle for the 12 appropriations bills it should be passing each year.
Hunting seasons for elk received approval Friday from the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Commission. The rifle and archery seasons are for 2018 and 2019. The panel reached the decisions at Outdoor Campus West in Rapid City. Thousands of South Dakota residents applied for elk licenses in past years. The archery season runs Sept. 1 through Sept. 30. The commission approved offering 142 any-elk licenses and 80 antlerless elk. In 2017 the commission had about 5,000 applicants for 147 any-elk and 130 antlerless licenses.