PIERRE — Legislators assigned to a workforce housing study for South Dakota agreed Thursday they would offer six measures for the 2018 session. The panel chaired by Rep. David Lust, R-Rapid City, delayed the start of the meeting for a few minutes because seven lawmakers were needed for a quorum. An eighth legislator joined the discussion in time for the final bill under consideration. Here's a look at pieces in the package: Draft one would reconfigure the distribution of money in the Building South Dakota program the Legislature created in 2013.
PIERRE — State government's Board of Water and Natural Resources put 27 projects for 24 communities and systems on South Dakota's state water-facilities plan Thursday. Nine of the projects already are on the state list, according to Andy Bruels, an official for state government's Department of Environment and Natural Resources. But Bruels said the nine would fall off at the end of 2017 if the board didn't renew them. (They are marked with asterisks.) Board member Paul Gnirk of New Underwood asked for the total amount of the estimated costs.
PIERRE — State government's Real Estate Commission has revoked the license for Trish Martinell. She represented Innovative Property Management of Sioux Falls. In the consent agreement, Martinell said she wouldn't seek any license from the commission for five years and would pay penalties totaling $5,000 for complaints filed in 2016 and 2017. The Martinell revocation was part of official minutes from the Sept. 7 meeting that the commission approved Wednesday. Those minutes showed the commission levied administrative fines against:
PIERRE — As they left the room together, a group representing Scout Clean Energy received advice Tuesday from Gary Hanson. "Don't be playing in the dirt," Hanson cautioned them, "until you get a permit." Those words carried the weight of 15 years that Hanson been elected to the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission. Scout Clean Energy is a Boulder, Colorado-based developer of projects that use turbines to turn wind into electricity.
The building committee said yes Monday to the final design and guaranteed maximum price for the new regional center for science that Northern State University intends to build on its Aberdeen campus. University President Tim Downs described the science center as "a gateway" and "a showpiece" during the teleconference meeting. "This building is positioning us for the future," he said.
PIERRE — In the summer of 1927, President Calvin Coolidge brought his summer White House to the State Game Lodge at Custer State Park and his summer office to Rapid City's now-gone downtown high school. On the second day in August, the 55-year-old Coolidge sent news reporters hurrying to telegraphs and telephones with his declaration, on hand-copied slips of paper: "I do not choose to run for President in nineteen twenty eight."
PIERRE — State government's Arts Council approved touring grants for 23 groups and people Friday. The amounts for 2019-2020 totaled $149,000. The council's staff made some changes in their screening process this year. Several council members suggested additional improvements. Council member Linda Anderson, of Rapid City, said as an applicant, representing Black Hills Playhouse, she would have liked to know more about the formula staff used.
PIERRE — A South Dakota government panel reviewed its draft annual report Thursday showing substantial progress in shifting young offenders into alternate community programs rather than sending them away into state Department of Corrections custody. But Neil VonEschen, vice chairman of the Charles Mix County Commission, didn't see it the same way. He serves on the state's Juvenile Justice Oversight Council that is tracking the significant changes the Legislature made in 2015.
PIERRE — The South Dakota Supreme Court said Thursday that Christopher Martin knew he illegally possessed a controlled drug when a Rapid City police officer arrested Martin on Sept. 15, 2015 with 23 oxycodone pills in his pocket. The officer found an abandoned vehicle that Martin reported stolen. When Martin arrived at the vehicle's location, the officer arrested Martin on an outstanding warrant. During the arrest search, officer Eric Holmquist found the opioids as well as 10 $100 bills and a combination of smaller denominations.
PIERRE — Three lawmakers voted "no" Monday in a protest against how the GEAR UP scandal is handled in an annual report from the Legislature's Government Operations and Audit Committee. The nays came from Senate Democratic leader Billie Sutton, of Burke, Republican Sen. Neal Tapio, of Watertown, and Democratic Rep. Susan Wismer, of Britton. They wanted a sentence stating South Dakota Department of Education leaders "disregarded" employees' warnings about alleged wrongdoing in the GEAR UP program.