PIERRE — Mike Williams and his crews at Dakota Southern railroad passed a big test. By repairing and cleaning up the state-owned line west from Mitchell that his company leases, they won back the confidence of the South Dakota Railroad Board. Todd Yeaton, the board's chairman from Highmore, manages the grain elevator outside Kimball that depends on the line. At a meeting Wednesday, with the other board members alongside or listening by telephone, Yeaton congratulated Williams. "I think I speak for the board, I didn't think you were going to do it," Yeaton said.
PIERRE — The ethanol plant planned at Onida received approval for an air-quality permit Thursday. The state Board of Minerals and Environment voted 6-1 to grant the permit sought by Ring Neck Energy and Feed. The permit sets emission limits. Two Onida residents, Clark Guthmiller and Kathy Hyde, asked the board to deny the permit or at least require that air-dispersion modeling be conducted before reaching a decision. Guthmiller said he was willing to pay for the modeling.
PIERRE — The state Board of Minerals and Environment is waiting for a reclamation plan from the company that tried to drill an oil well three years ago in Pennington County near Wasta but failed to complete it. The company, called Quartz Operations, received permits for two wells from the state board in 2013. The drill broke and the bit remains in the well shaft. The drill hole remains uncapped. The board required a bond of $130,000 to be posted for the first well. The second well wasn't attempted. The money isn't sufficient to pay for capping the unfinished well.
PIERRE — South Dakota should offer more services to help older people live in their homes rather than move to nursing homes or other care facilities that are more expensive, a national consultant told a committee of legislators Thursday. Allan Bergman also advised the lawmakers that Medicaid could look "very different" in a year because of changes that U.S. House speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, supports such as state block grants and spending caps.
PIERRE—Legislators who volunteered to study substance abuse in South Dakota finished their final scheduled meeting Wednesday without firm recommendations. Instead, they found lack of professional enforcement among prescribers of opioid painkillers, missing coordination within state government on methamphetamine prevention campaigns and absence of professional continuing education. No one representing the state Board of Pharmacy, which operates South Dakota's prescription drug monitoring program, testified at any of the committee meetings.
PIERRE — The South Dakota Railroad Board agreed Wednesday to swap land with Dakota Plains Ag Services at the proposed train yard and agricultural loading facilities at Napa junction in Yankton County. The board approved relinquishing 20 feet of right of way along part of the state-owned railroad in return for receiving additional right of way at another part of the line there. The overall trade calls for Dakota Plains to gain 0.99 of an acre in return for giving 2.8 acres of its property at the site to the state.
PIERRE—Its chairwoman declared the Legislature's task force made progress Tuesday on setting up natural resource districts along South Dakota's major river basins. The plan calls for elections starting in 2018 of non-partisan governing boards within the nine districts. The boards would establish water management plans for their districts. The final boundaries of the districts need the Legislature's approval in the 2017 session so the elections can be held in 2018.
PIERRE—During a brief meeting Monday regarding a federal fruits and vegetables grant for Meade School District, several members of the state Board of Education suggested that permanent waivers become an option under South Dakota's financial conflicts law. The board voted 7-0 to grant a waiver for president Don Kirkegaard, of Sturgis. He is the Meade district's superintendent. He abstained from the vote.
PIERRE – The nine families who live within a baseball’s throw of my house are all great neighbors. But what if one wanted to erect a wind tower in the...
PIERRE — Thousands of South Dakotans have chosen an alternate version of license plates for their vehicles rather than the new standard plate this year. The alternate doesn't display the county designator number and has a simpler background with a much smaller depiction of Mount Rushmore. The design is intended to provide space for organization decals that motorists can place on the left side of the plates.