PIERRE — On a recent evening the South Dakota Community Foundation held its annual banquet in Pierre for the board members, spouses and staff. Guests included the past presidents, Bernie Christenson and Bob Sutton, and Linda Mickelson Graham. The Mickelson family — Linda and children Mark, Amy and David — touched many South Dakotans during the decade that George S. Mickelson campaigned and served as governor. He was one of eight men aboard state government's top airplane flying back from Cincinnati on April 19, 1993.
PIERRE — South Dakota lawmakers set the stage Friday for a special legislative session regarding public use of non-meandered waters that lay over privately owned lands. The Legislature’s task force voted 13-2 for the final version of proposed legislation that declares all non-meandered waters open to the public, unless landowners post property as closed.
PIERRE — A township board in Day County has won a challenge in the South Dakota Supreme Court over repairing the local roads. The justices ruled unanimously for Raritan Township. The court released the decision Thursday. On the losing end were Timothy Asper and Galaxin Family LLC. They petitioned in circuit court Nov. 19, 2015, for the township board to repair and maintain 132nd Street and 431st Avenue so the roads were passable, or show why the work shouldn't be done.
PIERRE — South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley said Thursday his staff members are working in cooperation with state Auditor General Marty Guindon on a form that members of 23 state boards and commissions will use for reporting conflicts of interest. The form was required by legislation approved this year, according to Jackley. "We will also be providing an email address so the forms and minutes can be filed electronically if a board or commission so desires," he said.
PIERRE — Big changes for the Mega Millions lotto game will be proposed at the next meeting for the South Dakota Lottery Commission, Director Norm Lingle said Thursday. Lingle told commissioners they also likely would see a major rewrite of Hot Lotto or a proposal for a replacement game. He said the Hot Lotto situation remains undecided. The game is on an 80-draw roll without a winner. There are two drawings per week. "We're starting to see those sales flatten. That is a concern as we move forward with Hot Lotto," Lingle said.
PIERRE — The chief of police for the Rosebud Sioux Tribe sees methamphetamine problem every day on the reservation. The same is true for an FBI special agent who's worked meth cases in South Dakota for 16 years. But how to best deal with the situation? They didn't see eye to eye in their testimony to a South Dakota legislative panel Wednesday. Dan Cooper, the FBI agent, said arrests made in the past could be used years later to build evidence for conspiracy prosecutions.
PIERRE — The governor's legal counsel provided a briefing Wednesday for South Dakota Board of Internal Control members about a new law that re-defines conflicts of interest for members and spouses of 23 state boards and commissions. Attorney AJ Franken said HB 1170, passed during the 2017 legislative session, deals with what he described as "ambiguities" and "overburden" of disclosures already required by state law. He said they resulted from the Legislature's passage of the original conflicts law, HB 1214, in 2016.
PIERRE — South Dakota's laws presume that private property is private property. Landowners can ask law enforcement to charge criminal-trespass against people caught on the wrong side of the fence. But that standard hasn't applied to water and ice. Recreational users have enjoyed largely free access, unless the water or ice didn't touch a public road. The South Dakota Supreme Court exposed the conflicting standards, yet again, in the Duerre v. Hepler decision, released March 15.
PIERRE — When the Legislature five years ago established Building South Dakota, the economic development program gushed with cash. Much more, in fact, than could be spent for its intended uses. They included expansion of workforce housing; workforce education funding; local infrastructure improvements to assist projects; economic development partnership grants for non-profits and local governments; and business grants for projects costing less than $20 million.
PIERRE — The South Dakota Transportation Commission received a pleasing surprise Thursday on a culvert-cleaning project in Brown and Edmunds counties. "One bidder, and it's 25 percent low," remarked commission member Mike Vehle, of Mitchell. Subsurface Inc. of Moorhead, Minn., submitted the winning — and only — bid of $302,025.90. The work involves cleaning pipe culverts, joint repairs and filling voids on U.S. Highway 12, U.S. Highway 281 and South Dakota Highway 10. The estimated price was $404,636.65.