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Month: February, 2015

Worker initiative

Friday, February 27, 2015

RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) — The South Dakota School of Mines & Technology has raised $1.4 million toward its effort to help meet demands for workers in the region's oil and gas industry.
The university in Rapid City announced the Energy Resources Initiative last year and says it will now search for a director.
The effort includes the addition of a minor degree in petroleum systems. The school says it also taps the university's expertise and research in rock properties, water resources and materials development, and it's located within 300 miles of energy-rich areas in North Dakota, Colorado and Wyoming.
The new director will have broad leadership responsibility for research, teaching, fundraising and more development of the initiative.
The university is also developing a graduate certificate in petroleum systems focusing on graduate level training.


Copyright 2015 The Associated Press


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Sioux Falls food trucks

Friday, February 27, 2015

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — The city of Sioux Falls plans to offer some clarity about proposed food truck regulations for its downtown.
City officials are expected to discuss the regulations on Friday.
Neighborhood Development Coordinator Adam Roach and Economic Development Manager Brent O'Neil will address the plans.
The standards aim to formally authorize food trucks downtown while also balancing the needs of brick-and-mortar restaurants.
Roach and O'Neil are expected to discuss the city's process and outline future steps.


Copyright 2015 The Associated Press


CategoriesNews

Black Hills VA meeting

Thursday, February 26, 2015

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — The South Dakota congressional delegation is continuing to urge Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald to withdraw plans to reconfigure the VA Black Hills Health Care System from President Barack Obama's budget proposal.
Sens. John Thune and Mike Rounds and Rep. Kristi Noem met with McDonald Tuesday to reiterate their concerns.
The VA has served veterans in Hot Springs for more than a century but now wants to move some services to Rapid City. The Hot Springs VA hospital is listed on the National Register of Historic Places but could be closed.
The delegation says McDonald assured them that no final decision has been made yet about the future of the Hot Springs VA.
Thune says the White House should stop giving veterans the "bureaucratic run-around" and start providing answers.


Copyright 2015 The Associated Press


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Farm Bill sign up deadline

Thursday, February 26, 2015

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — Farmers have until Friday to make some key decisions that will govern their operations for the next five years under the new farm bill.
The first deadline of Feb. 27 requires them to update base acre and yield history for their chosen crops. Those are then used to calculate choices about crop coverage.
Producers used to talk to their local Farm Services Agency office and the staff would tell them what price they would receive per acre. They're now offered choices and need to analyze how the program will work for them before the final March 31 signup.
The new farm bill replaces set direct payments with payments that factor in price volatility and production averages county by county.
The FSA says South Dakotans are doing well in signups.


Copyright 2015 The Associated Press


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Child porn plea

Thursday, February 26, 2015

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — A convicted sex offender has pleaded guilty to two counts of possession of child pornography in a Sioux Falls court.
40-year-old Mario Castaneda Jr. initially faced five child pornography charges after officers followed a lead from a Rapid City internet detective.
Deputy Minnehaha County state's attorney Randle Sample said Wednesday the detective came across an IP address that was keeping and distributing child pornography. Sample says the IP, which is a numeric address given to a computer connected to the Internet, was traced back to Castaneda's Sioux Falls home.
Detectives executed a search warrant and seized two computers from the home.
Castaneda was convicted of sodomy of a child under the age of 12 and indecent acts with a child a decade ago in Kentucky.


Copyright 2015 The Associated Press


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FFA week observed

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — Several FFA chapters around South Dakota have activities planned this week as part of National FFA Week.
The goal is to give back to communities and raise awareness about the youth farm organization.
Beresford FFA members will host a pancake breakfast Wednesday morning at the high school.
Nearby in Lennox, the FFA chapter is holding a canned food drive and cooking breakfast for school staff on Wednesday.
Other activities planned by FFA chapters this week include old-time dance lessons in Newell, an Ag Olympics in Arlington to teach elementary kids about agriculture in a fun way and an animal nursery in Brookings for elementary students and the community.


Copyright 2015 The Associated Press


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Black Hills fisheries plan

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — South Dakota wildlife officials are seeking comments from the public on two proposed management plans for fisheries in the Black Hills.
Officials with the state's Game, Fish and Parks Department have drafted two five-year plans. One plan is for streams and the other for reservoirs.
John Lott is the department's chief of aquatic resources. Lott says the current streams plan in the Black Hills is more than 20 years old. He adds that public input is "essential" in the planning process.
Officials have scheduled an open house for Monday at the department's Outdoor Campus in Rapid City to discuss each plan and answer questions from the public.
The Game, Fish and Parks Commission is expected to take final action on the plans in early April.

 


Copyright 2015 The Associated Press


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Youth minimum wage

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — A state House committee is expected to take up a proposal to exempt youth from the minimum wage hike to $8.50 that voters approved in November.
The House Commerce and Energy Committee on Wednesday is scheduled to review the plan, which would carve out a $7.50 youth minimum wage.
Republican Sen. David Novstrup has said the evidence he's seen shows that states with a higher minimum wage also have higher youth unemployment.
His proposal would affect people under age 18, and the $7.50 youth wage wouldn't be subject to future cost of living increases.
Novstrup has said that the discussion around the ballot proposal that passed in November wasn't around younger workers.
He has said his proposal is a small change to the law.


Copyright 2015 The Associated Press


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Teaching artist program

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — The South Dakota Arts Council has created a new enrollment period for artists interested in working at schools and with nonprofits.
The Council says artists wanting to apply for the Artists in Schools and Communities program now have until April 15 in the spring to apply. The program previously only accepted applicants in the fall by its September deadline.
The program provides intensive, hands-on training in all arts disciplines to students by providing funds to schools and nonprofit organizations that bring in groups and individuals for residencies. Artists are responsible for developing their residency lesson plans.
The Council says applicants should give themselves plenty of time to prepare materials. Applicants must submit several items, including an artist statement, residency outline and work samples.


Copyright 2015 The Associated Press


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Dakotas college completion

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

FARGO, N.D. (AP) — A report by a national group shows that college students who start at four-year schools in North Dakota and South Dakota are following similar paths to completion — including more than 10 percent who finish their studies at other schools.
The National Student Clearinghouse Research Center tracks the progress of students in a six-year time frame and includes those who swirl from one school to another or take time off.
The report shows that the completion rate for students who start at four-year schools is 64.65 percent in South Dakota and 64.61 percent in North Dakota. The overall rate in the U.S. is 62.85 percent.
Officials in the Dakotas say the report gives a more accurate picture of graduation rates than traditional figures that follow student progress within one school.


Copyright 2015 The Associated Press


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