South Dakota News Watch


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 […]

Viability of rural ambulance services in S.D. at risk due to staffing and funding shortages

Rural ambulance services in South Dakota are having an increasingly hard time recruiting volunteers and generating revenues, putting the stability of the services at risk and making it more likely that rural residents will endure longer response times in emergencies or possibly lose ambulance service altogether. While most larger cities in South Dakota have professional ambulance services or fire departments […]

Education leaders discuss making Native education mandatory in public schools

South Dakota educators who were part of a recent statewide panel say a new initiative regarding civics and history education proposed by Gov. Kristi Noem should seek to increase the focus on teaching of Native American history and culture in the K-12 public school system. The experts also considered whether South Dakota should make Native American studies a requirement in […]

Vaccine hesitancy in South Dakota could prolong pandemic and delay a return to normal

Medical experts in South Dakota and across the country are concerned that reluctance among some people to get vaccinated against COVID-19 may prolong the pandemic, delay a return to normal life and possibly lead to more deaths. Health officials say that the U.S. and individual states are in a race to reach “herd immunity,” a level at which enough people […]

South Dakota Democratic Party intersectional solidarity with Tribal Nations results in passage of Missing and Murdered Indigenous People legislation

SIOUX FALLS, SD (April 9, 2021) – This past legislative session was an important advancement for justice and visibility for Missing and Murdered Indigenous People (MMIP). South Dakota Democratic legislators worked with Tribal Nations and allies to successfully introduce and pass House Bill 1199, legislation that will begin to address the MMIP epidemic within the state. HB 1199 establishes an […]

Educators and historians want politics kept out of new history and civics curriculum

Educators, historians and some elected officials are urging South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem and the state Department of Education to keep politics and personal bias out of the process to develop a new and enhanced civics and history education program for public K-12 schools across the state. In her State of the State speech in January, the governor proposed one-time […]

After tough 2020, S.D. tourism industry hopes for big bounce back in 2021

South Dakota tourism officials and operators are happy to see a tough 2020 in the rearview mirror, and even happier to look forward to what could be a banner year for visitors and spending in 2021. Aside from some pockets of unexpected prosperity in 2020 — in tourist activities focused on the outdoors and at accommodations located in wide-open or […]

Robotic milking is latest high-tech tool on dairy farms in S.D.

Dairy farmer Rodney Elliott stands in a small room where part of his $12 million robotic milking system is doing its job. The robotic system is located inside a huge new barn on Elliott’s farm northeast of Lake Norden and is one of only a handful of fully robotic milking operations in South Dakota. As the system functions flawlessly around […]

South Dakota dairy industry expands to serve cheesemakers

South Dakota dairy producers have undergone a rapid expansion over the past few years to meet the milk needs of the state’s growing cheesemaking industry, bringing a burst of economic prosperity to farm families and farming communities throughout the eastern half of the state. Milk production in South Dakota rose by 12% from December 2019 to December 2020, and farmers […]

Health concerns rise as dental patients in S.D. put off care during pandemic

Many South Dakotans have put off needed dental care during the COVID-19 pandemic, increasing the risk of gum disease, tooth and bone loss or other serious health issues related to poor dental care, which can include heart attacks and diabetes. Patients with acute dental problems and those who undergo routine dental care have stayed away from dental offices due to […]

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