PIERRE — Employment contracts in the GEAR UP corruption case show inconsistencies that investigators suggest were meant to mislead state auditors. The contracts were for Rick Melmer and Keith Moore. Three other employees at Mid-Central Educational Cooperative in Platte face state felony charges. Melmer and Moore don't. They are former top officials for the state Department of Education, the University of South Dakota and the U.S. Bureau of Indian Education.
PIERRE—The state Board of Minerals and Environment increased the amounts of the public-protection bonds for two Black Hills gold mines Thursday. The post-closure bond for the Homestake mining complex rises to $41,979,523, an increase of about $1.2 million. A complete review of the Homestake bond amount is planned for next year, according to Eric Holm, a staff member for the state mining and minerals program. He said the amount likely would change. Mining stopped in 2001 at the Homestake site in and around Lead. Water treatment continues there.
PLATTE – Stephanie Hubers of Geddes was an assistant business manager at Mid-Central Education Cooperative. Hubers, 43, faces felony charges for accepting more than $55,000 of payments since 2009 from...
PLATTE – Dan Guericke of White Lake planned to retire June 30 as director after more than 24 years at Mid-Central Education Cooperative. Guericke, 58, instead is now on a...
PLATTE – Stacy Phelps of Rapid City spent years building the GEAR UP program for college-level American Indian high school students in South Dakota. Phelps, 42, now stands accused of...
PIERRE—State regulators approved the choices of a public liaison officer and a third-party compliance monitor Tuesday for the Dakota Access oil pipeline construction project through South Dakota. The project will carry oil from western North Dakota through South Dakota, Iowa and Illinois. The state Public Utilities Commission agreed to the company selecting Eric Munz, who became a South Dakota resident in 2008, to serve as the liaison officer. "This, obviously, is an incredibly important position," PUC chairman Chris Nelson said.
RAPID CITY— An executive for Western Dakota Technical Institute said Monday changes already were planned before the school was put on probation by the agency that accredits it. "They're not concerned about the actual numbers," Steve Buchholz, vice president for institutional effectiveness and advancement, told members of the state Board of Education. "It's how we're using the data."
RAPID CITY—Students attending South Dakota's four public technical institutes this fall will pay $5 more per credit hour, despite the tuition freeze approved by the Legislature. The overall price per credit hour will be $150. The state Board of Education approved the rate Monday. Tuition will remain at $109 per credit hour because of the freeze. The maintenance and repair fee will stay at $5 per credit hour. The technology fee will remain $1 per credit hour. The $5 increase comes in the facility fee, which is rising to $35 per credit hour.
RAPID CITY-- Emergency safety rules for public schools to physically deal with difficult students in South Dakota didn't proceed as planned Monday. The state Department of Education withdrew the proposed rules, rather than hold the public hearing scheduled for them. Bobbi Rank, the department's lawyer, said school officials wanted more time to review and comment about the safety rules. She said the Legislative Research Council also sent a letter about the department's authority to set the rules.
PIERRE — Some of our legislators can be really crafty at times. They spent much of the 2016 session struggling over transgender bathroom policy in our public schools. Meanwhile they passed another piece of legislation that could make the issue go poof! It would provide money, so transgender students or any students could have non-public schools. Seriously. Soon we could have Republican or Democratic or socialist non-public schools. We could have non-public schools where only Lakota is spoken.