South Dakota News Watch

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Halt to abortions during pandemic led S.D. women to get procedure in other states


A temporary halt to abortions in 2020 at the only clinic in South Dakota where the procedures take place led to a big drop in abortions performed in the state last year, but it did not prevent women who wanted to terminate their pregnancies from doing so elsewhere. During the seven-month pause in procedures at the Planned Parenthood clinic in […]

For now, masks and vaccines optional in South Dakota back-to-school plans


Back-to-school plans for this fall are taking shape in South Dakota and — so far, at least — it looks like most teaching will take place in person and masks and COVID-19 vaccinations will be optional for students, teachers and staff. But safety protocols could change quickly as public school officials keep a close eye on whether the highly contagious […]

Spike in suicides in South Dakota causing fears of emerging mental-health crisis


A significant spike in the number of suicides in South Dakota in the first three months of 2021 has put the state on pace for a record year for suicide deaths and has prevention experts worried that a long-range mental-health crisis may be emerging. New data from the state Department of Health show that from January through March 2021, 59 […]

Successful opioid addiction treatment slow to catch on in South Dakota


South Dakotans battling addiction to opioids are increasingly relying on medication-assisted treatments to overcome their cravings for the dangerous drugs and to avoid potentially deadly overdoses. However, access to the life-saving medications is limited in South Dakota and some physicians in the state are reluctant to prescribe the drugs that have shown great promise in overcoming opioid abuse. Meanwhile, addiction […]

Drop in daycare openings putting financial and logistical hardships on South Dakota families


A major decline in the availability of affordable child-care options in South Dakota has prevented some parents from entering the workforce and created financial and emotional hardships for low-income families and single parents trying to balance work and daycare needs. Thousands of available daycare slots for children in South Dakota were lost during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Early Learner […]

Worker shortage in South Dakota could raise wages but slow economic growth


South Dakota businesses in the midst of a vigorous post-pandemic economic recovery are scrambling to attract new employees from what has become a limited pool of potential workers. The vast number of open positions and reduced available workforce are the latest wrinkles in the state economy caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and have led to a number of unexpected outcomes. […]

COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy is strong among South Dakota youths


Healthcare professionals say vaccinating young people against COVID-19 this summer is critical to reaching herd immunity against the virus and to protect youth against potentially devastating long-term effects of the virus. But many teenagers in South Dakota and other states have been slow to warm to vaccination, with some facing hurdles that include peer pressure to not get vaccinated, differing […]

Poll shows South Dakotans support ballot initiative process and oppose lawmaker interference


Many South Dakotans feel that democracy is not working very well in America right now, but those same people are highly supportive of their own right to make law directly from the voting booth. According to a recent statewide poll, a wide majority of South Dakota residents supports the citizen-led ballot-initiative process as a way to make laws or change […]

Frenzied housing market putting homeownership out of reach for some South Dakotans


Historically low interest rates, a rush of out-of-state homebuyers, limited inventory and higher construction prices for new homes have made for a frenzied housing market that has put homeownership further out of reach for some South Dakota residents. The highly competitive housing market is leading to a range of outcomes often seen in coastal states but rarely in South Dakota. […]

Experts fear child abuse rose and was more severe in S.D. during COVID-19 pandemic


Child protection advocates are worried that the COVID-19 pandemic led to a spike in child-abuse cases in South Dakota and that the abuse of children was more severe than in the past. They are also concerned that the pandemic led to an increase in child-on-child abuse that was more rare prior to the arrival of the coronavirus. Recent statistics are […]


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