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Friday, June 14, 2024

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SCOTUS begins issuing new opinions, with another expected related to the power of federal agencies, the battleground state of Wisconsin gets a ruling on alternative voting sites, and coastal work is being done to help salt marshes withstand hurricanes.

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The Supreme Court for now protects access to abortion drug mifepristone, while Senate Republicans block a bill protecting access to in-vitro fertilization. Wisconsin's Supreme Court bans mobile voting sites, and colleges deal with funding cuts as legislatures target diversity programs.

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As summer nears, America's newest and largest international dark sky sanctuary beckons, rural job growth is up, but full recovery remains elusive, rural Americans living in prison towns support a transition, while birth control is more readily available in rural areas.

South Dakota

South Dakota loses up to 100,000 acres of grasslands annually, according to the South Dakota Grassland Coalition. Grassland bird species are declining faster than any other group on the continent. (Gregory Johnston/Adobe Stock)

Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Support grows for threatened SD grasslands

About 1.6 million acres of Great Plains grasslands were destroyed in 2021 alone, according to a recent report, an area the size of Delaware. One …

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About 21,000 South Dakota children lived in high-poverty areas between 2018 and 2022, a decrease from the previous four years. (Adobe Stock)

Tuesday, June 11, 2024

Report: Plateaued data on SD kids’ economic well-being ‘concerning’

South Dakota ranks well in the country for the economic well-being of its kids, according to a new study, but a ranking does not tell the whole story…

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Among teachers surveyed, 32% said digital equity and tech access is the most pressing issue faced by education today, according to a 2023 State of Technology in Education report. (Adobe Stock)
‘Teach camp’ helps SD educators utilize tech in classrooms

Teachers across South Dakota tuned into a virtual training last week to learn new ways to integrate technology in the classroom. More than 400 …

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Two South Dakota drought resiliency projects will supply about 130 homes with high-quality drinking water. (Adobe Stock)
New federal funds earmarked for SD rural water projects

Some rural South Dakotans struggle to get good drinking water but the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation has awarded two local communities with grants to …

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About one-in-ten 911 calls result in a nearly 30-minute wait time for emergency medical services. (Adobe Stock)
New SD program trains communities to be cardiac-ready

It's National CardioPulmonary Resuscitation and Automated External Defibrillator Awareness Week, and a new South Dakota program has helped several …

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The ballot initiative to enshrine some protections to abortion in the South Dakota constitution received about 20,000 more signatures than needed to get on the November ballot. (Adobe Stock)
New group asks SD abortion petition signers to rescind

South Dakota's Secretary of State received more than enough signatures to get a decision on abortion rights on the November ballot but some signees ar…

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The deadline for Congress to pass a new Farm Bill is Sept. 30, 2024, following a year-long extension of the 2018 Farm Bill. (Dusan Kostic/Adobe Stock)
SD lawmaker OK’s House Farm Bill draft, despite climate, food program cuts

After 13 hours of markups late last week, the House Committee on Agriculture passed its version of the massive piece of legislation known as the Farm …

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An estimated 500 South Dakotans between ages 13 and 17, and 2,900 adults, identify as transgender, according to UCLA's Williams Institute. (Adobe Stock)
SD sends mixed messages on youth rights

A staggering 93% of transgender teens live in states that have either enacted or proposed laws that would restrict their rights - according to a new r…

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Recent statewide figures look promising, but homelessness in South Dakota has risen more than 120% since 2007, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. (Adobe Stock)
Sioux Falls programs address rising homeless population

Homelessness in South Dakota may be down overall, but the state's urban areas are an exception. New programs in Sioux Falls aim to address it…

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Refugees arriving via the Uniting for Ukraine program must secure support from a local sponsor to resettle in South Dakota. (Adobe Stock)
SD refugee resettlement spiked in 2023

South Dakota ranks fifth in the nation for its rate of refugee resettlements per capita and the rate increased dramatically in the last year…

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A well-designed riparian buffer can prevent 80% of excess nutrients from entering rivers and streams. (Adobe Stock)
Most SD surface waters fall below state quality standards

There are nearly 150,000 miles of rivers and streams in South Dakota, but new data show many of those don't meet state standards for safe water …

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In a 2018 survey by the Native American Voting Rights Coalition, 32% of respondents not registered to vote in South Dakota said long distances to travel for registration were prohibitive. (Adobe Stock)
Ballot dropbox ban a barrier in SD primary

South Dakota's June 4 primary will be the first national election here since ballot dropboxes were banned in 2023. It is one of 12 states to ban …

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