PIERRE — The deadline to register to vote in the 2018 general election is Oct. 22. That's less than three weeks away. Depending on your politics, there's good news for Republicans. The Oct. 2 monthly report shows you at 253,933. That's a gain of more than 900 in one month and more than 8,000 since January. For independents and no-party voters, there's good news, too. You're at 124,539. That's up more than 900 in a month and up about 3,800 since the start of the year.
DEADWOOD — Ducks Unlimited wants a South Dakota license for hunting an elk in the Black Hills that the non-profit group can offer as the prize for raffle tickets. The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation currently receives an elk license from the state Game, Fish and Parks Commission that the foundation raffles. The elk foundation has used its raffle proceeds for elk purposes. The ducks group wants to use its potential raffle proceeds for habitat improvement, presumably for waterfowl.
DEADWOOD — Many hunters wanting to pursue deer in South Dakota with firearms next year will go through a different state licensing system. And some 3,500 more hunters could be in the field as a result. The changes apply to hunters seeking licenses in 2019 for the Black Hills, West River, East River and muzzleloader seasons. Those hunters will have to seek the single license each prefers, rather than apply for all four as they currently can.
RAPID CITY — South Dakota State University can proceed in a lead role with the state Department of Agriculture investigating whether herbicides are injuring trees, the state Board of Regents decided Wednesday. The agreement ends May 31, 2020. Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Missouri and Nebraska also will collect leaves. Fifty to 200 samples will be taken in each of the six states. SDSU will lead the work with John Ball as principal investigator. The state department will provide $38,490 to SDSU. The university will cover the remaining $9,199.
PIERRE — Silence was the only sound Tuesday, as the state Department of Agriculture held a hearing on a proposal to attempt to control the spread of emerald ash borers in South Dakota. No one sent written comments and no one testified. Next steps are a decision by Acting Secretary Dustin Oedekoven and a Nov. 20 hearing by the Legislature's Rules Review Committee. Named for their color, the invasive species has often wiped out ash trees in the eastern half of the nation. The borers have spread as far west as Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska and Colorado
PIERRE — The Democratic and Republican candidates for governor agree the state Board of Internal Control should be kept to help stop corruption. And both also want to go beyond what the Republican team of Gov. Dennis Daugaard and Lt. Gov. Matt Michels asked the Legislature to establish in 2016. Senate Democratic leader Billie Sutton of Burke said he was proud to vote for the board's creation. Senators approved it 35-0. The House followed at 65-2. The law requires the board to meet at least quarterly.
PIERRE — Come Monday morning, Nathan Sanderson starts work as executive director for the South Dakota Retailers Association. He's departing as Gov. Dennis Daugaard's director of policy and operations. Sanderson said Wednesday that people in state government were "outstanding" and working for Daugaard was "phenomenal." "This is a good opportunity to do something else," Sanderson said during an interview in his office on the Capitol's second floor, the leafed trees not quite hiding the retailers building visible from the west-facing window.
PIERRE — The South Dakota Supreme Court has ruled a grain truck hauling soybeans from a Hand County field violated a state law because the load weighed too much for the rural bridge the truck crossed. Justice Steven Zinter wrote the unanimous decision the court publicly released Thursday. State Highway Patrol Trooper Tim Serr stopped the truck Oct. 1, 2016, after it crossed a bridge on 357 Avenue posted for 33 tons or 66,000 pounds. The truck weighed more than 87,000 pounds.
PIERRE — Management of the South Dakota High School Activities Association came under fire again for financial practices Tuesday. Members of the Legislature's Government Operations and Audit Committee spoke critically during a meeting with Dan Swartos, the association's executive director. They don't like the board moving the association's foundation out of the Legislature's oversight. Some lawmakers also complained they couldn't find financial data such as from tournaments.
WATERTOWN — The state Transportation Commission gave a green light this week on contractors' bids for eight highway and sidewalk projects in more than one dozen South Dakota counties. The biggest job: Resurfacing and related work on 19 miles of Interstate 90 east of Oacoma. Duininck Inc. of Prinsburg, Minn., was lowest at $13,499,594.86 on a project estimated to cost $11,224,352.15. Three others bid more.