PIERRE — The state Board of Economic Development made two low-interest loans Tuesday for expansions of existing businesses at Sioux Falls. The board voted to waive its rule limiting a loan to $1 million and approved a loan of $2.5 million for Gage Brothers Concrete Products Inc. The board also approved a loan of $778,000 for Bellmark Properties Inc. for its cardboard packaging line. As usual, the board considered the loans in executive session. There wasn't any discussion of either loan during the public portion of the meeting. The votes were 11-0.
PIERRE — The South Dakota Board of Economic Development approved rule changes Tuesday to ensure tribal governments could seek help from two of state government's grant programs. The next step is final clearance from the Legislature's rules review committee. The changes add tribal governments to the list of organizations and local governments eligible to apply for assistance from the economic development partnership fund and the local infrastructure improvement fund. No one sent written comments about the proposals, according to Aaron Scheibe, the deputy commissioner for the Governor's
PIERRE—South Dakota's new task force on excess surface water meets this week to begin discussing where the lines should be drawn for nine new natural-resource districts. The Legislature created the panel as part of calling for districts that would cover each of the major river basins. The group also will suggest the alignments for three sub-districts within each one. The river-basin framework came from the Legislature's previous advisory task force on watersheds. Lawmakers approved the concept earlier this year, but in a compromise, stripped out all tax authority and regulatory power
PIERRE—A decade later, concern that building state university centers in Sioux Falls, Rapid City and Pierre would hurt the six traditional state universities hasn't proven true. Instead, the state Board of Regents now faces tough decisions about what to do with the new campuses.
PIERRE — The decision by Paula Hawks to be a Democratic candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives means U.S. Rep. Kristi Noem, a Republican, will have an opponent in the 2016 election for South Dakota's only seat in the chamber of 435. Noem starts with big advantages. She holds the office, has been through four statewide contests and won all four, and is very much a Republican in a very Republican state.
ABERDEEN — The bald eagle won't be on South Dakota's list of endangered and threatened species any longer. The state Game, Fish and Parks Commission held a public hearing on the national bird's status during its meeting Thursday in Aberdeen. No one testified. The silence told a story of success.
SIOUX FALLS — Two state legislators who chair the governor's Blue Ribbon task force on K-12 education said Friday they are optimistic, but they asked school board members and school superintendents to be respectful in public about the panel's work. "If we derail this, it could be a long time before we have another opportunity," Rep. Jacqueline Sly, R-Rapid City, said during a panel discussion at the joint convention of board members and superintendents. "This is education's time to shine," Sen. Deb Soholt, R-Sioux Falls, said.
The state Wildlife Division wants to make several significant changes for the 2016 hunting season for mountain lions in South Dakota. The division's biologists will outline their proposals during the state Game, Fish and Parks Commission meeting in Aberdeen today and Friday. One recommended change would reduce the harvest limit. The limits for the 2014 and 2015 seasons in the Black Hills were 75 lions overall or 50 females, whichever was reached first. Hunters reported killing 21 males and 22 females during the 2015 season.
PIERRE—The hearing on the Keystone XL pipeline's proposed route through South Dakota took a U-turn into the past Tuesday, as a landowner testified about her family's repeated misfortunes dealing with TransCanada's original Keystone pipeline project. Sue Sibson, of rural Howard, told members of the state Public Utilities Commission that invasive plants the family's cattle won't eat now grow in place of the native pasture that was torn up to lay the oil line underground through Miner County in 2009. Her husband, Mike Sibson, brought a sample of spikeweed from the easement area to show th
PIERRE—The Keystone XL oil pipeline through western South Dakota poses a risk to water supplies because its proposed route would cross many aquifers, streams and rivers in terrain where slopes sometimes give way, a witness said Monday. The testimony at the state permit hearing came from Arden Davis, a longtime professor of geological engineering who retired in June at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology. He was one in a series of opposition witnesses who took the stand during the hearing's seventh day.