Bob Mercer reports from the South Dakota Capitol in Pierre for The Daily Republic and other newspapers around the state.
- Member for
- 9 months 4 weeks
PIERRE — Bob Breukelman, the man who oversaw construction of Northern Beef Packers at Aberdeen, began testimony Wednesday in day two of a trial in federal bankruptcy court over a...
PIERRE — Dick Cheney, our nation's previous vice president, was known to hunt pheasants on occasion at Paul Nelson Farm near Gettysburg. Paul marketed his complex as the highest quality available for pheasant hunting. Current prices range from $4,995 apiece for a party of six or more, to $6,795 for a single hunter. Those cover lodging, three days of hunting with guides and dogs, with five birds per day, and free use of shotguns and other related services. Also included are food and beverages and unlimited shotgun shells to use in the field and on the clays range. Those facts became
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.
BROOKINGS -- The two candidates seeking the Democratic nomination for governor took opposite sides Tuesday on the death penalty, uranium mining, education funding and rural mass transit. State Rep.
PIERRE — South Dakota motels and hotels might be receiving larger amounts of reimbursement for providing lodging to state government employees. The state Board of Finance authorized the secretary of state on Tuesday to move ahead with a public hearing on rule changes reflecting higher amounts. The current rate is $50 per night for in-state lodging in most instances. The proposal endorsed by the board calls for $55 per night in September through May and $70 per night for the months of June, July and August. If approved, the higher rates would take effect Jan.
If legislators are honest, serving in the South Dakota Legislature won't make them rich.
The state Board of Education delivered a message to the presidents of South Dakota's public technical institutes Monday: Find agreement on adding and expanding programs. Otherwise, the board will become more involved and develop a longer and more detailed process of determining which schools offer various degrees. The board's position comes in the wake of a March dispute. Mitchell Technical Institute's leadership opposed the addition of an electrician program at Southeast Technical Institute in Sioux Falls that Gov.
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.
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 -- 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