South Dakota News Watch

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S.D. slow to vaccinate children against HPV, a virus that can cause cancer

Shots given to children can prevent cancers later in life caused by the most common sexually transmitted disease in America

South Dakota lags behind the rest of the nation in vaccinating children and youths against the Human Papillomavirus, the most common sexually transmitted disease in America that can cause a range of potentially fatal cancers. HPV can exist without symptoms and is a leading cause of throat cancer in men and cervical cancer in women, but it is almost entirely […]

Poor S.D. residents hit hardest by state debt collection efforts


Tens of thousands of South Dakotans have lost their privileges to hunt, fish, or drive in the state since 2016 because they owe money to government agencies for unpaid fines, fees or even college tuition, but often the people hardest hit by state debt collection efforts are low-income residents who are the least able to pay up. The license and […]

S.D. among worst for ‘Brain Drain’ as best and brightest continue to flee the state


Despite years of effort to reverse the trend, South Dakota remains among the worst states in the nation in terms of losing its most highly educated citizens to other areas of the country, according to a new report from Congress. The loss of skilled, educated residents can slow the state’s economic growth as well as cause further political polarization in […]

DAMAGING DEBT: College grads stung by broken promises of federal loan forgiveness program


Hundreds of South Dakota residents are caught in financial limbo wondering if the tens of thousands of dollars they owe on student debt — and which they were promised would be forgiven if they entered public-service careers — will actually ever be eliminated. Those South Dakotans include teachers, police officers, employees at charitable organizations and even members of the military […]

Destructive Debt: S.D. college graduates weighed down by heavy student debt


South Dakotans owe more than $1.5 billion to the federal government on loans they took out to finance their educations and many borrowers are finding themselves crushed under the weight of their college debt, even many years after they graduated. About 52,000 South Dakotans have some debt from direct federal student loans, according to the U.S. Department of Education. Thousands […]

South Dakota beekeepers facing industry’s “darkest days”

As national honey bee colony losses hit nearly 40 percent, South Dakota beekeepers worry about the future of bees and of their industry.

South Dakota beekeepers — among the largest players in the U.S. pollination and honey industries — are reeling from a nationwide spike in honeybee colony losses that has the potential to affect 90 different agricultural crops across the country and could raise the price of fruit, vegetables and nuts if the problem gets worse. In 2018, the state’s beekeepers brought […]

State officials scramble to respond after zebra mussels found in Lake Sharpe

Taxpayers could face millions in mitigation costs and restrictions on boaters could rise due to invasive mussel infestation recently discovered on second Missouri River reservoir.

Lake Sharpe has become the second major Missouri River reservoir in South Dakota to be infested with invasive zebra mussels, raising fears that millions of dollars in mitigation may be needed and that new restrictions could be placed on those who use the lake for boating, fishing and recreation. The infestation was announced in a news release from the state […]

Juvenile drug arrest rate high in S.D. despite reforms

State officials continue to refine efforts to reduce drug use and fight addiction

Over the past decade, South Dakota saw a significant increase in the number of juveniles arrested for drug crimes, and officials see few signs that the arrests will fall anytime soon despite recent reforms of the state juvenile justice system. According to state crime data, the number of youths arrested on drug charges such as possession, use and distribution nearly […]

Risk of death on S.D. highways jumps significantly during Fourth of July holiday

National and state data show higher levels of fatalities and alcohol-related fatalities on roadways during the holiday period, but law enforcement agencies step up patrols to reduce risks.

A new study proves what many drivers and law enforcement officials already believed: that the rate of highway fatalities, including alcohol-related fatalities, rises significantly during the annual Fourth of July holiday across the United States and even more so in South Dakota. The rate of highway deaths during the Independence Day holiday travel period in the U.S. rises by 27% […]

Aging S.D. dams creating potential for destruction


The last 12 months have been the wettest in South Dakota in more than a century and as a result, dams across the state have suffered significant damage, creating the potential for flooding, loss of life, destruction of property and the need for expensive repairs. Across South Dakota and the Great Plains, extensive snow melt and heavy rains have eroded […]


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