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Tuesday, February 20, 2024

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Minnesota public safety agencies reeling from weekend tragedy; Speaker Johnson faces critical decision on Ukraine aid; Public comment sought on proposal to limit growth in health-care costs; MS postal union workers voice concerns about understaffing, mail delays.

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Truckers for Trump threaten to strike over his massive civil fine for business fraud in New York City. Biden wants Norfolk Southern held accountable one year after an Ohio derailment and dangerous chemical spill and faith leaders call for peace in the Israel-Hamas war.

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Drones over West Texas aim to improve rural healthcare, the Ogallala Aquifer, the backbone of High Plains agriculture, is slowly disappearing and federal money is headed to growers of wool and cotton.

South Dakota

According to the new Census of Agriculture, the total number of farms with more than $1 million in sales has gone up by 36 percent. Advocates said such growth squeezes out smaller producers. (Adobe Stock)
New data illustrates decline of thriving farm communities

The nation has seen its total number of farmers and farmland decrease over the past five years and advocates for smaller producers in South Dakota sai…

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The Internal Revenue Service reported roughly 80% of tax returns in the U.S. are now filed electronically. (Adobe Stock)
SD tax filers to benefit from free IRS project

In the coming weeks, South Dakotans will be given a chance to file their taxes online directly with the Internal Revenue Service at no cost. Plans …

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To date, 40 states, including South Dakota, have expanded Medicaid with help from the Affordable Care Act. (Adobe Stock)
SD's Medicaid expansion becomes ensnared with work-requirement debate

As South Dakota continues to implement a Medicaid expansion approved by voters in 2022, controversy has emerged with some lawmakers seeking approval …

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The American Heart Association says 2,552 deaths from total cardiovascular disease occur each day in the United States. (Adobe Stock)
New data show disconnect in understanding heart disease risks

As American Heart Month gets underway this Thursday, experts are trying to create more awareness in South Dakota and elsewhere. But they're …

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SHIFT Garage, which provides free labor costs for car repairs in two South Dakota cities, estimates it receives around 250 applications each year for help. (Adobe Stock)
SD nonprofit tries to keep poverty from stalling car engines

Winter time in South Dakota can sometimes result in car engines not starting. For people with no money for repairs, there are options in some cities…

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Policy experts said as it stands right now, roughly 19 million children in the U.S. do not benefit from the federal Child Tax Credit because their families' incomes are too low. (Adobe Stock)
Congress announces Child Tax Credit deal

Congress is poised to consider renewing the expanded Child Tax Credit and policy analysts said the latest effort could help tens of thousands of South…

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Economic data show while consumer prices have increased 20% since the fourth quarter of 2019, wages for a typical worker have grown by 23%. (Adobe Stock)
Analysis: Workers feel 'wage power,' but more support is needed

Workforce shortages are among the issues lawmakers might address in the new South Dakota legislative session. A new analysis of wage growth progress …

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The National Low Income Housing Coalition reported South Dakota has a shortage of about 10,000 rental homes that are affordable and available for extremely low-income renters. (Adobe Stock)
SD poverty-fighting group: Affordable home builders need to step up

January is National Poverty in America Awareness Month and in South Dakota, agencies assisting low-income individuals said access to affordable …

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After nearly facing extinction, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service estimates about 750 black-footed ferrets now live in various locations. (Adobe Stock)
Endangered Species Act turns 50

This Thursday, the Endangered Species Act celebrates its 50th anniversary. Wildlife experts say the policy has been a big help in such states as …

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According to recent National Education Association rankings, South Dakota has consistently landed near the bottom in the area of teacher compensation. (Adobe Stock)
SD to see renewed debate over teacher pay

As they head into winter break, South Dakota school districts and their teachers are in a waiting period to find out what future state funding looks …

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Cognia, a nongovernmental organization that accredits primary and secondary schools, says declining birth rates might make it harder for colleges and universities to maintain solid enrollment in the coming years. (Adobe Stock)
State universities address affordability amid concerning forecasts

States like North and South Dakota are in a fierce battle to keep college affordable as public schools navigate the ebbs and flows of enrollment trend…

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For a person in a relationship with someone struggling with an addiction, experts recommend asking for help in planning any holiday gatherings, which allows you to avoid some stress while still supporting your partner. (Adobe Stock)
Navigating the holidays for families experiencing addiction

Celebrating the holiday season can be complicated for households with a loved one dealing with an addiction. A South Dakota expert said there are …

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