PIERRE — The new state board created in the wake of the EB-5 and GEAR UP scandals made progress Wednesday in trying to choose questionnaires for government agencies to use when gauging the trustworthiness of applicants for government grants and contracts. The panel's members seemed to settle on the general position a state questionnaire for assessing risk should be used if the federal government doesn't require a specific one.
PIERRE — A year ago in September a lawyer representing Rick Melmer and Keith Moore sent a letter to me warning I shouldn't lump his clients with Scott Westerhuis. This was after the deaths of Scott and Nicole Westerhuis and their four children in their home south of Platte. I offered several times to meet any time and any place with Rick Melmer and Keith Moore to talk about their roles in the GEAR UP matter. They had been paid to serve in an oversight capacity for the GEAR UP program being run through Mid Central Educational Cooperative at Platte by Stacy Phelps.
PIERRE – Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump will have the Electoral College votes of all three Republican electors for South Dakota. State Attorney General Marty Jackley confirmed Tuesday he would...
PIERRE — As the state Board of Regents prepares to ask the Legislature in 2017 for additional tuition assistance for all students, four of the state universities are asking to increase mandatory fees by hundreds of dollars on every student. The regents considered the requests for fee increases last week during their meeting in Aberdeen at Northern State University. The regents are scheduled to get more information at their December meeting and would make their decisions on the fees in March 2017.
The state Board of Regents, whose members govern South Dakota's public universities, don't want former students to lose their driver licenses over debts owed to the campuses. That's despite a 2015 law that allows the driver license for any South Dakotan to be revoked eventually if debt owed to any part of state government stays unpaid. The regents don't know at this point what they can do. They backed away this past week from a work-around agreement that an official for the universities system had negotiated.
MOBRIDGE — The state Game, Fish and Parks Commission learned Friday that zebra mussels have quickly overtaken Lewis and Clark Reservoir on the Missouri River near Yankton, and the invaders nearly found their way into Belle Fourche Reservoir last month aboard a dredging company's barges. State fishery director John Lott said some GF&P employees have been inspecting and disinfecting boats when they come out of the water at Lewis and Clark Reservoir so the zebra mussels aren't carried to other waters of South Dakota.
MOBRIDGE — A state parks official said Friday the U.S. Forest Service is the lead agency for the environmental impact statement needed for connecting the George S. Mickelson Trail and Mount Rushmore National Memorial. The environmental study could take until 2018 to complete before any construction began, and there could be parts of the proposed route that need to be changed according to Al Nedved, an assistant director for the state Division of Parks and Recreation.
Harvey Jewett has served on the state Board of Regents since 1997. That's meant he's personally fought for Northern State University now for 19 years, keeping the Aberdeen campus in the mix as one of South Dakota's remaining six original campuses. He knows his current term that ends in 2017 will be his final one. No other current regent has served as long as the Aberdeen lawyer and businessman. At the October board meeting in recent days, which happened to be at Northern State, some important things came out of his mouth. Those words clearly came from his soul.
MOBRIDGE — The state Game, Fish and Parks Commission rejected a petition from two South Dakota hunting organizations Thursday. The petition sought to overturn two state laws that designate hundreds of nonresident three-day waterfowl hunting permits for two blocs of northern counties. The commission instead passed a resolution opposing the petition and recognizing "the pre-eminent authority" of the Legislature and the governor regarding state laws.
MOBRIDGE — In a rare move, the state Game, Fish and Parks Department backed away Thursday from a proposal to start charging fees and require permits for fishing tournaments in South Dakota. The department also wanted to make it a violation if anglers participated in tournaments that didn't have permits. That won't be happening either. The state Game, Fish and Parks Commission started a public hearing Thursday on the plan, but GFP Secretary Kelly Hepler told commissioners they didn't need it. Hepler declared the department was withdrawing the plan.