PIERRE — A tribal environmental group can't present testimony on climate change during a state permit hearing this summer for TransCanada's proposed Keystone XL pipeline, members of the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission ruled Tuesday. The Intertribal COUP organization planned to offer three scientists to testify about tar-sands development and climate change. But the group lost that opportunity when it failed to meet a requirement in the hearing process. I-COUP's plan next became to present them as rebuttal witnesses.
PIERRE — No opponents testified Friday against proposed state regulations that would make production and sale of raw milk for human consumption simpler in South Dakota. Four raw-milk advocates spoke generally in favor of the new rules during a public hearing held by the state Department of Agriculture. They also praised the work of state Agriculture Secretary Lucas Lentsch in working to a compromise. The meeting lasted less than one hour and was in sharp contrast to the combative mood at several rules hearings and legislative hearings in the previous three years. Earlier this year, t
PIERRE—Back in 2000, federal environmental regulators put the Gilt Edge gold mine on the national Superfund list, because the site in the Black Hills was so badly polluted with millions of gallons of contaminated water and producing more every day. Now, 15 years later, a plan calls for intense work to start next year on better dealing with the poisonous mess that became the burden of the U.S. government and the state government of South Dakota after the mine's operator, Brohm, went under. Gilt Edge is four to five miles southeast of Lead.
PIERRE — Bird flu that has swept through many turkey and chicken operations in South Dakota and neighboring states now has another casualty: Poultry expositions. The South Dakota Animal Industry Board voted unanimously Wednesday to order an immediate suspension of poultry shows. State Veterinarian Dustin Oedekoven said animal health experts don't know what's causing the deadly outbreaks. He called the situation "a very devastating blow to our poultry industry" and told the board that North Dakota and Minnesota recently imposed similar bans on poultry shows. "The risk of movement of t
PIERRE — Five years after a contract dispute halted work, there still isn't a firm date for completing the new Medicaid management information system that the federal government wanted in place for the South Dakota Department of Social Services. The provider enrollment piece is done and in use, state Social Services Secretary Lynne Valenti told a legislative panel Tuesday. But other functions weren't finished, she said. An independent consultant reviewed the situation and delivered its report in April.
PIERRE — State government officials and outside lawyers are setting up a new approach that could be in place by Oct. 1 for insuring government property and personnel at less cost to taxpayers while covering more government structures. Gov.
PIERRE — State government will ask for guidance from professional debt collectors in preparing to open an obligation recovery center for money owed to or through state offices, courts and universities, a state official told a legislative panel Tuesday. Jeff Holden, the deputy commissioner of administration, said the request for information likely would be issued by the end of May. The goal is to learn more about the services and software that already are available. Holden said the responses would be used in assembling a formal request for proposals this summer. Gov.
PIERRE—Public libraries in South Dakota reported lower circulation overall and fewer visits for 2014, but electronic circulation grew substantially, according to results from the annual statewide survey. Circulation dropped 17.5 percent from the prior year, but most of the decline resulted from a correction in 2014 to over-reporting at the Rapid City Public Library in previous years, according to State Librarian Daria Bossman. She said removing Rapid City from the equation put the circulation drop at 3.9 percent. "So it's still down, but not so dramatically, and this is to be expect
PIERRE—The regional director for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation spoke Friday to the state Banking Commission about bank conditions in South Dakota and the current agricultural economy. Jim LaPierre said less than 5 percent of South Dakota banks were adversely rated at the close of 2014, meaning they scored 3 to 5 on the FDIC's 1 to 5 scale. Nationally 12 percent were adversely rated, while the regional average was below 7 percent, he said. The national number hit as high as 30 percent during the recession approximately five years ago. The Kansas City region covers South Da
PLATTE—The state Department of Legislative Audit found the state Department of Education needed strong financial controls over its partner in administering a major federal grant intended to help American Indian students consider college. The state Department of Education received the federal aid, but doesn't actually run the GEAR UP program.