PIERRE — The state Transportation Commission agreed Thursday guardrail upgrades are needed on two sets of bridges along US 85 in Lawrence County. Commissioners approved adding it at Polo Creek, one mile south of the US 85 junction with Interstate 90, and near Cheyenne Crossing, where US 85 crosses Spearfish Creek. Additional cost is estimated at $330,000, according to Mike Behm. He is planning and engineering director for the state Department of Transportation.
PIERRE — State regulators posted documents Monday for a $15.6 million bond from TransCanada on construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline through South Dakota. The state Public Utilities Commission required the bond as a condition of the construction permit granted in 2010 for the South Dakota segment of the project. "Even though construction is not scheduled to begin until 2019, Keystone seeks approval
PIERRE — Eight counties using electronic poll books had difficulties during June elections. Officials sent explanations or testified at the state Board of Elections meeting Monday. The Legislature authorized vote centers and e-poll books for school board elections in 2010 and later expanded to all elections. Here are excerpts from some of the letters defending vote centers where any registered voter in a county can cast a ballot. Maxine Fischer, Brown County auditor: "Granted, we had issues on Tuesday, June 5, 2018, but we did not have issues in 2014 or 2016.
U.S. Sen. John Thune is one of 21 members of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry. The Republican has been working on the 2018 Agriculture Improvement Act, generally known as the Farm Bill. He said the Senate plans to take up the legislation in the coming days. It takes effect Oct. 1 and last five years. Thune is the only member of South Dakota's delegation in Congress to serve on an agriculture committee. The U.S. House of Representatives passed its version of the Farm Bill 213-211 Thursday.
PIERRE — South Dakota teachers ranked 30th in the nation for buying power last year, based on data given Wednesday to the state Teacher Compensation Review Board. South Dakota teachers were last for average salary of $42,025 in 2016. They rose to forty-eighth with $46,979 in 2017, according to the National Education Association. Two additional calculations moved South Dakota to No. 30, Tony Venhuizen said. The chief of staff for Gov. Dennis Daugaard subtracted taxes from the average salaries for the 50 states and the District of Columbia.
Two South Dakota school districts, American Horse School on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation and the Sisseton Wahpeton tribal court system received approval Tuesday for special federal aid administered through the state Council of Juvenile Services. The council met in Mitchell. Meeting audio was available by teleconference. Panel members voted to direct $50,000 to the Andes Central district for several coordinators and a consultant. They would monitor academics, behavior and activities.
PIERRE — The state Board of Elections decides today whether to ask lawmakers to require all polling places have voter-registration records on paper. This could have helped during the June 5 primaries. Citizens could have known numbers for state-level races one to two hours earlier from many counties. Pennington County, Republican giant of the west, fueled the delay. Election officials invoked a state law to keep 16 of 44 precincts open later. Hughes County also kept three of eight voting centers open longer.
PIERRE — The state Transportation Commission gave a thumbs-up Thursday to testing configurations of centerline rumble strips on eight miles of US 14 in Kingsbury County. Diamond Surface Inc. was the only bidder for the safety project between De Smet and Lake Preston. The Rogers, Minn., company set its price at $300,700. The state Department of Transportation estimate was $88,995.80.
PIERRE — The president for the South Dakota School Superintendents Association suggested Wednesday a way state lawmakers could add money to the extraordinary cost fund that helps school districts cover their special education needs. Watertown superintendent Jeff Danielsen proposed the Legislature divert 10 cents from the $1.42 special-education tax levy many school districts charge property owners. Ninety-nine districts currently used the full levy, two were at zero and 49 fell in between.
PIERRE — The state Board of Economic Development approved more than $5.6 million in low-interest loans and potentially $8.1 million in reinvestment payments for South Dakota businesses Tuesday with Performance Pet Products of Mitchell receiving $3.6 million for facility expansion. "Speed round" was how Chairman Jeff Erickson, of Sioux Falls, described the string of roll-call votes that followed the closed-door teleconference.