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LA man says he met Gov. Rounds during meeting on $30M loan in South Dakota Capitol.
After nearly four years as chief of staff to Gov. Dennis Daugaard, Mitchell resident Dusty Johnson will be in the Palace City full time starting Nov. 10. Johnson, 38, will be the director of consulting for Vantage Point Solutions, an engineering and consulting firm at 2211 N. Minnesota St. in Mitchell. Johnson is excited about the new job, calling it a "great opportunity," but he is more excited to be with his wife and three sons full time. "I am very excited about that. That is the real prize," said Johnson.
Former Gov. Mike Rounds said he was generally aware that $30 million in financing was being lined up for a faltering Northern Beef Packers in 2010, but also said he was not directly involved in the deal. During an interview conducted in March 2014, when fewer details were publicly available about the deal, Rounds told The Daily Republic that financing was tough to come by because of the Great Recession that hit the nation in 2008. The Daily Republic contacted the Rounds campaign this week, but it did not have any additional statements. "It was in the middle of a national recession.
When a $30 million loan from unidentified off-shore funds was put together for Aberdeen's Northern Beef Packers in 2010, part of the deal was a requirement that the state of South Dakota promised to kick in an additional $10 million. On page 51 of an 87-page loan agreement, the entity making the $30 million loan - Epoch Star Ltd.
When a $30 million came to Northern Beef Packers in the summer of 2010, it kept the faltering Aberdeen plant afloat. It also provided a $950,000 payday for a mysterious Los Angeles firm known as Maverick Spade. That company's website, maverickspadellc.com, touts it's expertise with the EB-5 visa program and "sharp intellect, skilled management and significant capital resources." "Maverick is the world's premier independent alternative asset manager, serving the investment needs of global financial institutions, Asian pension funds and other foreign and U.S.
Democratic Senate candidate Rick Weiland said Friday that he supports his party's call for a special prosecutor for the EB-5 issue. "Unfortunately, there are a lot more questions than there are answers," Weiland said about the program that offered foreign investors green cards in exchange for a $500,000 investment.
Rounds: 'No wrong-doing on the part of Joop Bollen'
While former Gov. Mike Rounds says he was unaware of legal issues arising out of South Dakota's administration of the federal EB-5 program, his brother Dennis Rounds was in charge of overseeing litigation for the governor. As executive director of South Dakota's Office of Risk Management and the state's Litigation and Legal Services Manager for the Governor, Dennis Rounds was in charge of overseeing lawsuits and minimizing risk.
South Dakota farmers and ranchers are setting aside fewer acres under the federal Conservation Reserve Program. The program, part of the farm bill since 1985, pays farmers and ranchers to keep land out of production as a way to promote wildlife habitat and water quality. When the federal fiscal year ended at the beginning of October, 69,510 acres that had been under CRP contract in South Dakota left the program as contracts expired. Owen Fagerhaug, South Dakota's conservation program manager for the federal Farm Service Agency, estimates that about 35,000 of those acres are coming back unde
By Carson Walker SIOUX FALLS (AP) — South Dakota's oil and gas production is a fraction of North Dakota's, though the organizer of a conference this week in Spearfish said the southern neighbor could prosper if companies step up to supply much-needed products and services to the burgeoning oil patch. "It's literally like the gold boom rush of the start of the Black Hills' explosive growth," said Branden Bestgen, also the Sturgis City Council president.