Northern Plains News Service
A new study says Wyoming and South Dakota earn A grades for electing women to the U.S. House of Representatives over the past 25 years. The political website Smart Politics gives Wyoming an A-plus for electing a woman to the U.S. House in 10 consecutive elections. South Dakota earned an A for electing a woman to the House six consecutive times. In Wyoming, Republican Barbara Cubin was elected in 1994, 1996, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2004 and 2006. Then Republican Cynthia Lummis won in 2008, 2010 and 2012.
SIOUX FALLS — The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has called diabetes a "silent epidemic" affecting those who have served in the military and is dedicating resources to better management of the disease. Type 2 affects almost 20 percent of veterans who use VA health care, compared to about 8 percent of the general population.
If you live in the Dakotas or Wyoming and have dividend income, you're in luck. The three states have among the lowest combined federal and state tax rates on dividends, according to the Tax Foundation. Wyoming and South Dakota don't have personal income taxes and have the lowest rates nationally at 25 percent. But North Dakota, which does have a state income tax, is just behind at 26.3 percent. The group calculates the average across the United States at 28.6 percent.
SANTA MONICA, CALIF. (NPN) — Personal auto insurance rates increased less in South Dakota and the Northern Plains states than they did nationally, according to a news study by RateWatch. However, the same study showed that the region had a higher increase in homeowner insurance than the national average.
Today is World Kidney Day, a day to promote kidney health and its importance to overall health. In South Dakota, approximately 713 people are on kidney dialysis because their kidneys don't function properly, according to the Dialysis Patient Citizens organization. There are stand alone or in-hospital dialysis clinics in Mitchell, Sioux Falls, Rapid City, Rosebud, Sharps Corner, Brookings, Madison, Watertown, Sisseton, Aberdeen, Pierre, Gregory, Yankton, Hot Springs, Spearfish, Huron, Chamberlain and Pine Ridge.
Wealthiest 1 percent of South Dakotans took lion's share of state's income growth in recent decades.
One Dakota has the best poverty rate in the region and one of the best in the nation. The other Dakota has the worst poverty rate in the region but fares OK nationally. According to statistics compiled by the nonpartisan Spotlight on Poverty Opportunity, North Dakota leads the Northern Plains with a poverty rate of 11.2 percent.
U.S. Sen. Thune, R-S.D., received 1 percent of the straw vote tally last week for potential Republican presidential nominees at the Conservative Political Action Conference. Thune tied for 14th place. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Tenn., won the poll with 31 percent, followed by Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, with 11 percent and neurosurgeon Ben Carson at 9 percent. In 2010, Thune tied for seventh in the same straw poll, garnering 2 percent of the vote. Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, won the 2010 CPAC poll with eventual Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney placing second.
South Dakota's state and local government employment grew from 2007 to 2012. That's according to a recent study by the U.S. Census Bureau examining federal, state and local government employment trends.
Despite living in a state where producing things to eat is the biggest industry and ancestors had strenuous lives, South Dakotans are at or below the national averages when it comes to eating produce and exercising. The results are from a recent Gallup survey of Americans and their eating and exercise habits. Nationally, according to Gallup, 51.6 percent of Americans exercise regularly, with South Dakotans just barely better — 51.8 percent — than that average.